A critical or disastrous situation created by a powerful concurrence of factors.The Perfect Storm, Merriam-Webster Dictionary
By: Matt Thielen
Liverpool find themselves in the midst of the perfect storm. With the right mix of injuries, players being drastically out of form, and VAR not doing its job; Liverpool have found themselves barely staying afloat.
Sure, Liverpool still sit atop of the Premier League Table. However, our two rivals in Manchester, United and City, have one and two games in hand respectively which could take either Club to first on the table. Will Liverpool be able to weather the storm?
Since the beginning of the 20/21 campaign, Liverpool FC have dealt with injuries. Whether it be COVID-19 or your more typical injury, Liverpool have seen it all.
The following players have all faced extended periods of missed time this season:
- Joe Gomez
- Joel Matip
- Virgil van Dijk
- Alisson Becker
- Xherdan Shaqiri
- Jordan Henderson
- Diogo Jota
- Trent Alexander-Arnold
- Mohammed Salah
- Sadio Mane
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
If you told me that was the list of the entire season, I would believe you. However, as we are all aware, it is only January and we have five months left.
To add to our struggles; Matip, Gomez, and van Dijk are all expected to be sidelined for upwards of six months. You could say we are dealing with an injury crisis, especially in our back line.
To highlight this defensive injury crisis, look no further than our starting XI against Southampton. Our starting centre-halves were both midfielders—Jordan Henderson and Fabinho. At one point during the match, 3/4 of our backline consisted of midfielders (Henderson/Fabinho/Milner).
With the January window open, Liverpool will look to bring in defensive reinforcements and have been linked with versatile Bayern defender, David Alaba.
Out of Form
Many supporters on social media have been quick to blame the officiating for the reason for Liverpool’s recent struggles. However, when looking for someone to blame for dropping points starts, we can look no further than our own performances.
Let me start off by saying that I firmly believe that Liverpool FC have assembled the best team in the world. There is world-class talent at every position and players competing for minutes week in and week out.
Having said that, the squad as a whole have seen a massive dip in form, especially away from Anfield.
In nine away matches, Liverpool have been able to muster just 11 points. Compare that to Leicester (22) and United (19) it is fair to say that something needs to change if the Club is to repeat as champions.
Over the last two years or even three years – and no disrespect to those clubs – but last season we would have won those gamesAndy Robertson on dropping points to West Brom, Fulham, & Brighton
The undisputed best right-back in the world gave the ball away 38 times in 77 minutes played against Southampton–more than any player this season. Roberto Firmino has not been himself in front of goal and we are desperately missing a creative spark in midfield with more and more clubs parking the bus against us.
This, too, will end. Form is temporary and class is permanent. The boys will soon be back at their best.
VAR is a buzzword that is sure to get a reaction out of any Liverpool supporter.
In just 17 Premier League matches, Liverpool have had 12 decisions go against them from VAR. The next closest has only five. As stated earlier, Liverpool must play better if they are to win matches, but they have been very unlucky with decisions going their way due to VAR.
If you feel otherwise, take a look at all of the decisions that have gone against Liverpool this season and get back to me.
What Andre Marriner did with Sadio Mane tonight, I’m not sure that’s okay. Man United had more penalties in two years than me in five and a half years…. but no excuses for tonightJürgen Klopp on Liverpool not being awarded a penalty
Supporters and Klopp alike are unhappy with how VAR has been implemented and it seems as if Liverpool are playing against 12 men on the pitch this season.
As the late Gerry Marsden said, “At the end of the storm there’s a golden sky”. Liverpool must look to the iconic anthem now more than ever and hold their heads up high to get through this perfect storm.